There are a huge number of different issues that you need to address and decisions you need to take when running an in-person workplace, but one of the most overlooked is the dress code.
How your employees dress can have a big impact on their mentality when in the workplace and how your customers perceive your brand, so it is vital to get it right.
These days, smart casual has given way simply to casual in many workplaces – with employees walking around in bare feet and joggers.
However, the strictness of your dress code will ultimately depend upon the industry you operate in and the type of brand image you want to portray.
For example, a legal firm is likely to stick to tailored suits, whereas a disruptive tech start-up is more likely to pride itself on a relaxed (or absent) dress code.
To help you decide on your dress code, here is a quick guide:
Use it as a branding opportunity
There are several good reasons for choosing a particular dress code, but one of the most underrated is that it presents a fantastic branding opportunity.
If your employees walk around in a distinctive outfits (perhaps with your brand colors or logo on their attire), you are likely to stand out in the marketplace.
There are novel ways of doing this. You could, for instance, order custom Converses from Anthem Branding, which would give your brand a unique look without being too corporate.
Of course, you have to be wary of the legal considerations when choosing a dress code. Your employees may need to be wearing certain items to comply with industry standards.
In fact, some several laws and regulations govern dress codes in the workplace, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and state and local anti-discrimination laws.
It’s crucial to understand these requirements and ensure that your dress code does not discriminate against employees based on their race, gender, religion, age, or disability status.
Does it reflect your culture?
Ultimately, you need to ensure your dress code reflects the culture you have created at your company.
If you want to make a splash as a rebellious start-up that breaks convention at every turn, then insisting on an autocratic dress code of suits or corporate shirts is incongruent with the wider brand image.
Alternatively, if you run a funeral director, it isn’t the right place for flip-flops and Hawaiian shirts.
Make sure it is practical
Lastly, you need to make sure your dress code is practical.
Work dress codes should be flexible enough to accommodate the needs and preferences of your employees while still maintaining a professional image.
For example, allowing employees to wear jeans on certain days of the week or allowing employees to dress casually on their birthdays can show that you value their comfort and well-being.
Involving your employees in creating or updating your dress code is essential. This can help ensure that your dress code is inclusive and reflects the needs and preferences of your workforce.